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Donair Panzanella

Panzanella Salad with Donair Meatballs


The Panzanella

  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 12 pre-baked donair meatballs (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 loaf sourdough bread
  • 1/2 Cup bocconcini or any fresh mozzarella you like, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 C sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • sweet creamy garlic dressing, to taste (see recipe below)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Donair Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (P: I didn't have this so I added some green onion instead)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Sweet Creamy Garlic Dressing

(makes approximately 1 up)

  • 1/2 Cup canola oil (P: I used avocado oil which is also a neutral flavoured oil but is healthier!)
  • 1/4 Cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


For the donair meatballs:

  • Pre-heat oven 350ºF
  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together by hand until well combined – for true donair texture, pulse the meat in a food processor, in small batches, until smooth. (P: I pulsed it in my food processor but I was able to do it in one batch. I have a pretty big food processor!)
  • Roll into small balls and bake on parchment lined baking sheet 22-24 minutes – remove from oven and set aside until ready to serve. (P: mine were done after 15 minutes using convection setting, so I'd suggest checking them a bit early. I also kept them in the fridge after cooking and used them the next day.)
  • When ready to serve, cook meatballs in a hot skillet over medium heat until browned and slightly crispy.

For the sweet creamy garlic dressing: 

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well Adjust salt and pepper to taste. (P: I found it difficult to get the honey to all dissolve in the initial shake, but after I let it sit for a while and shook it again, it dissolved completely. You could also whisk everything together.) 

To compose the salad:

  • Slice red onion as thin as you can – place into a small dish and cover with red wine vinegar – set aside. (P: did this one day in advance.)
  • Heat a small skillet over medium to high heat (P: I added a little oil to the pan)– once hot, add pre-baked donair meatballs and cook until browned and slightly crisped on the outside – reduce heat to minimum to keep warm.
  • Tear or cut the sourdough bread into bite-sized pieces – place bread pieces in a large bowl with torn fresh mozzarella, sliced sundried tomatoes, slices of pickled red onion and warm crisped donair meatballs – drizzle with sweet creamy garlic dressing and toss to coat – add more dressing to taste if desired – serve garnished with a sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh basil leaves. (P: I did not find that it needed any extra salt on top, and be generous with the basil!)

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